Owen County Asylum

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Owen County Asylum
Established 1860
Opened 1878 (Second Building)
Closed 2002
Current Status Preserved
Building Style Single Building
Location Spencer, IN
Architecture Style Late Victorian
Alternate Names
  • Owen County Poor Farm


The Owen County Home, located in Clay Township on State Road 43, was built in 1878. An earlier facility, known as the County Asylum or Poor Farm, was built about 1860, two miles down river from Spencer on State Road 67. It was a two story frame building, large enough, but by 1878 not large enough. The County traded that former Tornmy Howe farm for 395 acres known as the Col. John Franklin farm and let a contract to William F. McGenhardt to build a brick County Asylum for a cost of $8,000. The earlier house is still standing in good repair, and is the home of Bill Edwards. The outward appearance of the 1878 brick County Home, a pleasant well-maintained facility, has changed little over the years. The property no longer functions as a working farm, and the barn and other outbuildings have been torn down. Sixteen people resided at the County Home in 1994. Currently, the main asylum building is a private residence.

The property contains the main brick building, a cell house, a pole barn, a pump house, a workshop, a wash house, and a cemetery, located in the woods behind the home. [1]

Images of Owen County Asylum[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Owen County Asylum


  1. Hassett, Kayla. "The County Home in Indiana : A Forgotten Response to Poverty and Disability." Diss. Ed. Vera A. Adams. Ball State U, 2013. Cardinal Scholar, 05 Apr. Accessed 02 Dec 2014.